Observations

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  • Created by: Heather
  • Created on: 14-03-15 13:43
What are the two types of observations and their meanings?
-Covert Observation- Undercover, -Overt Observation- Open
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What are the meanings of participant observation and non-participant obervation?
Participant Obervations- When the researcher joins the group and their activities, Non-participant observation- Researcher doesn't join in with the groups' activities,
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Who favours unstructure participant observation?
Interpretivists,
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Give a theoretical advantage of unstructured PO concerning its environment?
The subjects are studied in their natural environment and so the research shows what people do, increasing validity,
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What is another advantage concerning the type of data produced?
It produces qualitative data which allows the researcher to experience motives, emotions and meanings of the people being studied, increasing validity,
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What is an advantage concerning new pathways?
It is highly flexible as the researcher can follow up new situations which arise, increasing validity,
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What is an advantage concerning informality?
The informality of the observation allows for rapport and trust to be built up with the people studied abd therefore more likely to act naturally, increasing validity,
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Where is rapport being able to be built between the interviewer and participant particularily important?
When researching school students whi may mistrust adult researchers and see them as 'disguise teachers'
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What is the last theoretical advantage of unstructured PO concerning verstehen?
Verstehen is gained as it become possible to see through the eyes of the participants and gain true empathy, increasing validity,
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Describe why positivists dislike unstrucutred participant observation?
As it is unscientific so it can be impossible to control variables that occur in the 'field',
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What is a theoretical disadvantage of unstructured PO concerning retesting?
The flexiblity and interpersonal skills needed in the approach makes it difficult to retest and gain similar results, reducing reliability,
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What is another disadvantage concerning its sample size?
Often small sample size due to time and money so results are unrepresentative and reduces the researcher's ability to generalise to the target popualtion, lowering reliability,
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Give an example of a small sample size for unstructured PO?
Willis' study into anti-school subcultures focused on only 12 boys,
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Give another disadvantage describing bias?
Bias can occur with the recording of the results as the researcher is no objective, lowering validity,
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Give a practical disadvantage of unstructured participant obervation concerning the researcher himself?
Personal characteristics such as age, gender and ethnicity may restrict the groups studied,
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Give an example with Wright?
Wright found that her Afro-Caribbean background produced negative results/ reactions from white teachers,
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What is another practical disadvantage concerning access?
many groups can be difficult to access and gain entry e.g. a criminal gang. To do so you must have the required personal skills and the right connections,
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Give an example of Patrick?
Patrick (CPO) was able to gain entry into a Glasgow gand as he looked young and knew one of the members,
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What are the two practical problems of getting in and being in the group?
-There are problems getting accepted into the group, -There is the danger of going 'native'- by staying in the group the researcher may over-identify with the group and become bias as they stop being objective, lowering validiity,
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What is another practical disadvantage concerning leaving the group?
Re-adjusting and re-entering one's normal world can be difficult,
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What is the last practical problem concerning unstructured participant observation about time and cost?
Observation can be time consuming and expensive,
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How many hours did Patrick spend in the field?
120 hours,
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Who favours covert Participant Observation (CPO)
Interpretivists,
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What is a theoretical advantage of CPO concerning behaviour?
CPO eliminated the Hawthorne effect as people are unaware they are being studied so likely to behave naturally, increasing validity,
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What is a practical advantage of CPO concerning certain groups?
Some groups in society are reluctant to be studied therefore, CPO may be the only method for studying certain groups,
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What is a theoretical disadvantage of CPO concerning recording results?
Researchers are unable to make open notes so has to rely on memory and therefore some points may be forgotten, lowering validity,
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What is a practical disadvantage concerning the skills needed by the researcher?
CPO requires a great deal of skill to keep up an act and not be discovered. This can also be stressful,
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What is another practical disadvantage concerning harm to the researcher
When studyign some groups, the researcher has risk of being harmed if discovered and they cannot risk asking naive questons,
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Why is CPO impractical for studying some groups?
E.g. studying children in a classroom- there are few 'cover roles' a researcher can take when studying people much younger then themselves,
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What is an ethical disadvantage concerning consent?
There is no informed consent given because the participants dont know they are being studied, leading to deception and exploitation,
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What is another ethical disadvantage concerning lieing?
Covert observers usually have to lie about their reasons for leaving a group,
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Hwo did Patrick leave the group?
He simply abandoned the group,
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What is the last ethical CPO disadvantage concerning immoral roles the researcher may do?
in criminal gangs, the oberver may have to take part in immoral and illegal activities to maintain their 'cover' role,
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Who favours overt participant observation?
Interpretivists
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What is a practical advantage of OPO concerning stress?
The researcher doesnt have to worry about the consequences of being discovered,
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What is an example of an OPO study?
Barker and the Moonies- They knew she was a sociologist and studying their religious group,
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What is another practical advantage of OPO concerning immoral/illegal activities?
The researcher can avoid taking part in dangerous group activities,
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What is the last practical advantage of OPO concerning recording?
It is easier for the sociologist to record and make notes openly,
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What is an ethical advantage of OPO?
Ethical problems are reduced as there is no deception,
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Where is OPO a suitable research method for this ethical reason?
In schools becuase of age and vulnerability of school children,
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Who dislikes OPO?
Positivists,
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What is the theoretical disadvantage of OPO conerning behaviour?
The Hawthorne effect may occur as participants know they are being watched and more likely to change behaviour, lowering validity,
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What is the practical disadvantage of OPO concerning certain groups?
Certain groups may not give their consent to be studied or prevent the researcher from seeing everything,
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How did Barker finally gain permission to observe the Moonies?
She went through three complex stages of observation so she would be accepted
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What is an ethical disadvantage of OPO concerning protection from harm?
the researcher must protect the anonymities of the participants being studied,
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Who favours structured non-particpant observation?
Positivists
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What does a structured onservation involve?
an observation schedule,
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What is a theoretical advantage of structured non-PO about the type of data?
Data can be quantified with pre-determined observational categories,
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What is the last theoretical advantage of structured non-PO about replication?
Standardised behaviour categories increases reliability as it allows research to be replicated,
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What is a practical advantage of structured non-PO about time and cost?
It its less time consuming and cheaper than unstructured observation and so larger and more representative samples can be achieved,
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what is a practical advantage concerning schools?
Schools are more willing to give access to structuredobservations as the information gained can help them improve,
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Who dislikes structured non-PO observation?
Interpretivists
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What is a theoretical disadvantage based on the behavour categories?
The researcher predefines the results with the behaviour cateogries so only looks at certain behaviours which lowers validity,
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What is the last theoretical disadvantage of structure non-PO about rapport?
No rapport is built with the participants and therefore validity is lowered,
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Card 2

Front

What are the meanings of participant observation and non-participant obervation?

Back

Participant Obervations- When the researcher joins the group and their activities, Non-participant observation- Researcher doesn't join in with the groups' activities,

Card 3

Front

Who favours unstructure participant observation?

Back

Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4

Front

Give a theoretical advantage of unstructured PO concerning its environment?

Back

Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5

Front

What is another advantage concerning the type of data produced?

Back

Preview of the front of card 5
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